Paraprofessional Role Provides Experience and Time for Recent Grads
Ritik Shrestha ’22
While many students dream of the day they no longer have to study for exams or write another research paper, there are important decisions to be made once one’s college career comes to an end. Be it graduate school, a job, a gap year, or a slew of other possibilities, students are faced with making the determination of “what’s next” after graduation. David Trevithick ’17 and Victor Torres III ’18 are two students who chose to become paraprofessionals at CC as their first post-graduation step.
A paraprofessional is a recent college graduate who stays on with a school to work for a few years within a certain office or department. While positions can vary by college and year, CC currently has 37 paraprofessionals working in various departments, including the Office of the President, Office of Student Life, and most academic departments.
For Trevithick and Torres, the prospects of graduate school or work were never in question. Their options were countless with a degree in international political economy for Trevithick, and a double major in physics and classics for Torres, along with strong GPA’s, and diverse resumés.
“I didn’t want to rush it and get into a lot of debt doing something I hated,” responds Trevithick when asked why he didn’t take a more traditional route. Born to two alumni who were married in Shove Memorial Chapel, CC blood runs deep within his family and the paraprofessional position was always a consideration. “These were the best four years of my life so spending more time here didn’t seem bad,” he says.
For Torres, the paraprofessional position was a “great layaway to figure out what [he] wanted to do while staying connected to CC.” Growing up in Colorado Springs, CC had always been a goal of his, and when the acceptance letter arrived, Torres wanted to make the most of his opportunity. Through a four-year college career that included time as an RA; employment in the fitness center and library; volunteer work for the Butler Center; providing services as an assistant speech coach; and involvement in theatre workshops, the Student Conduct Committee, and the debate team to name a few, the end goal was a master’s degree from Columbia Engineering. While unfortunate circumstances did interfered with this goal, President Jill Tiefenthaler took note of all that Torres had done during his time at CC and during the summer after graduation, he was offered the paraprof position.
Paraprofessionals perform many vital tasks within school departments and are trusted with professional responsibilities. A typical work day goes from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
For Trevithick, who works in the Office of the Provost, the entire day is usually committed to helping Sandra Wong, dean of the faculty. Morning hours are usually spent answering emails in order to help plan out the dean’s schedule. Afternoons are often spent in organizational meetings or performing administrative tasks such as proctoring language tests for students. Any free time between these responsibilities is spent completing projects for the department such as making edits to the departmental website.
For Torres, who works in two departments (Offices of the President and Student Life), there is rarely a moment to sit down. He is currently responsible for managing the contacts and schedules of consultants who are externally reviewing racism at CC. This means planning meetings, responding to emails and messages, and making sure that his superiors have everything they need while on campus. On top of this, Torres is still responsible for completing administrative duties in the President’s Office and overseeing student events on campus such as the Winter Ball, Midnight at Rastall’s, and Halloween festivities.
While the responsibilities can get overwhelming, both Trevithick and Torres insist that they love working at CC. While both want to eventually get master’s degrees in policy and engineering respectively, and move on with other careers, their time as paraprofessionals has provided many advantages. On top of providing extra time for decision making, the networking that comes with working for high-ranking college members such as the president and department heads will be invaluable in terms of recommendations and references.